Power and pitching propel Orioles past A's, 5-1; Mountcastle, Rutschman, Hays homer; Gibson's gritty start - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Power and pitching propel Orioles past A’s, 5-1; Mountcastle, Rutschman, Hays homer; Gibson’s gritty start

Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer

BALTIMORE—Oriole starter Kyle Gibson threw 30 pitches in a long top of the first inning. He walked two of his first three hitters, doubling his total from his first two starts. After rightfielder Ryan McKenna misplayed Ramón Laureano’s fly to right field for a run-scoring triple, the Orioles were quickly down by a run.

Gibson settled down and allowed four more hits until he was replaced with one out in the seventh. By the time he left, Ryan Mountcastle, Adley Rutschman and Austin Hays had hit home runs on the way to a 5-1 Orioles win before an announced crowd of 9,322 at Oriole Park on Monday night.

“After one or two innings, I’m not worried about it or thinking about it or thinking about how deep I’m going to go in the game,” Gibson said. “I’m just trying to put up zeroes and trying to keep the team in the game. Thankfully, we had a couple of short innings that was allowing me to get into the seventh inning, but that’s normally not where you end up after a 30-pitch first.”

It was the first 6:35 p.m. start of the season. Monday-Thursday night games before Memorial Day and after Labor Day will begin then this season.

Another first was Oriole players introducing their new hose to drink from to mark home runs, moving on from last year’s celebrated home run chain.

Mountcastle homered to left-center in the first, scoring Cedric Mullins, who walked, stole his fifth base of the season and advanced to third on a throwing error.

Rutschman homered against JP Sears (0-1) for his second second homer in as many days, and Hays, who was baffled when his long fly ball to left was caught in the first, homered to center in the sixth for a 4-1 Orioles (5-5) lead.

“I was glad to see one go over,” Hays said. “The last few days, I feel like my at-bats have been really solid, putting a lot of barrels on the ball in the air. I had one [Sunday] that I thought I hit pretty good, too, that was caught. Just to see the ball find some grass and be able to run around the bases was a very satisfying feeling.”

It was Gibson’s first home start as an Oriole, and his first here since the left field-wall’s dimensions were increased — 30 feet deeper, 5 feet higher — for the 2022 season.

“One thing about baseball that’s great is that every park is different,” Gibson said. “Every park plays different. Every park flies a little different, so to have a little different left field, I think it adds to the nuance of the game.”

Gibson (3-0) left with a runner on third and one out in the seventh. It’s the second time in his career, and the first since 2014, that he began the season with three consecutive wins.

“That was a true veteran performance there,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He had a tough time finding it. He was missing off the edge a little bit and got into a great groove following the first inning, awesome that he was able to go into the seventh inning for us after a tough first.”

Bryan Baker recorded two strikeouts to end the seventh and strand the runner at third.

Mullins was ejected by home plate umpire Malachi Moore after arguing his called third strike for the second out in the seventh.

“I was making my thoughts clear to him on some of the calls that I thought he missed throughout the day,” Mullins said. “I had my back turned to him completely. I wanted to let it be known, and he tossed me for it.”

After Mullins was ejected he screamed at Moore, and Hyde came out to argue what he viewed as a quick thumb. After he was ejected, he removed his cap in disgust.

“I thought [Moore] was a little early. We had a few calls not go our way tonight, which was unfortunate,” Hyde said. “I thought we had a few [Sunday] not go our way, also. I was kind of tired not going our way.”

Bench coach Fredi González, who escorted Mullins off the field as Hyde continued to argue, managed the rest of the game in Hyde’s place.

Cionel Pérez pitched a scoreless eighth, and Félix Bautista pitched the ninth, striking out three.

A double by Ramón Urías in the eighth scored Hays for the fifth run.

Notes: Grayson Rodriguez (0-0, 3.50) will face Kyle Muller (0-0, 2.53) on Tuesday night. The first 10,000 fans 15-and-over will receive Rodriguez T-shirts. … It was Mullins’ first ejection and Hyde’s 10th. … Hays’ home run snapped an 0-for-17 slump.

Call for questions: I’ll be answering Orioles questions next week. Please email them to: [email protected]

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